Hope Lives: Mary Sue's Story

Hope Lives: Mary Sue's Story

When she was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme brain tumour in November 2011, Halifax dietitian Mary Sue Waisman gathered strength from her family and friends to build hope for her future.

After a surgery where her six centimeter tumour was removed, Mary Sue worked hard at a recovery that has involved learning to live with compromised motor function on her left side. But this change in her physical abilities has not dampened her trademark lust for life. “I’m so grateful that I have had no cognitive impairment,” she says, “and I wake-up each morning glad to be Mary Sue.”

A registered dietitian, trained chef and three-time author, Mary Sue took to writing again after her diagnosis, publishing her journal titled, From the Heart of the Kitchen. “It was a wonderful distraction as I went through treatment,” she explains of the book that has now sold more than 700 copies.

With a career focused on making nutrition come alive through food, Mary Sue has spent her career educating and inspiring professionals and families. She believes that when we nourish our bodies with delicious food, while connecting around the dinner table, we build our most important relationships and connections. It is through ‘walking this talk,’” that Mary Sue has built a strong personal network and a lifestyle of gratitude and optimism.

Today, Mary Sue wants other brain tumour patients to know there is hope. “I was really surprised when the physicians simply gave me the stats with my diagnosis, along with very little hope.” Today, 15 months after her diagnosis, Mary Sue is a force to be reckoned with as she defies the odds presented by the doctors.

“I just keep telling myself that life gives us all a hard time; it’s what you do with those hard times that counts.” With friends, family and colleagues supporting her efforts and commitment to living the fullest life possible, Mary Sue says, “I know that I've been kind and good to people all my life and now it's coming back to me in spades.”

And when she thinks about her perspective on life today, Mary Sue explains, “I’m driving down a road no matter what and I could either drive off a cliff or go down a beautiful highway. I’m choosing that beautiful highway.”

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Story posted: April 2013

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